ARIZONA NEWS

US winter storm chills dozens of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport flights

Dec 21, 2022, 1:43 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm
Travelers check in for their flights at kiosks and wait in line to check luggage in Terminal 1 at M...

Travelers check in for their flights at kiosks and wait in line to check luggage in Terminal 1 at Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

PHOENIX — Dozens of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport flights were canceled or delayed Wednesday as extreme winter weather threatened many destinations in the midst of the holiday travel season.

According to FlightAware, a flight tracking website, 12 flights out of Sky Harbor were canceled and 94 were delayed as of 2:45 p.m.

Incoming flights also were impacted, with seven cancellations and 91 delays.

Southwest Airlines had nine of the Phoenix cancellations and 48 delays, the most of any carrier.

Denver, Seattle and Edmonton each had multiple flights to and from Phoenix either canceled or delayed.

Twenty-five more Sky Harbor flights (11 out, 14 in) for Thursday were already canceled as of Wednesday afternoon.

Forecasters were predicting an onslaught of heavy snow, ice, flooding and powerful winds Thursday to Saturday in a broad swath of the country, from the Plains and Midwest to the East Coast.

A surge of Arctic air is expected to follow, making the Christmas weekend the coldest in decades in some areas.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday that the storm was so large and encompassing that around 190 million people are currently under some type of winter weather advisory.

Authorities are urging people to postpone travel plans if possible.

Still, the Transportation Safety Administration expects Thursday and Dec. 30 to be the busiest days at U.S. airports, with traffic expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels.

Delta, American, United, Frontier, Alaska, Southwest and other airlines were waiving change fees and offering travelers the option of choosing new flights to avoid the bad weather.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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US winter storm chills dozens of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport flights